Lucid Surrender: The Alchemy of the Soul in Lucid Dreaming

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Lucid Surrender: The Alchemy of the Soul in Lucid Dreaming

Author: Melinda Powell

Foreword: Stanton Marlan


When we become lucid in a dream, what is it we wake up to? The popular Western definition of lucid dreaming describes a state in which the dreamer becomes aware that they are dreaming and can control the dream narrative. Yet, in lucid dreams, as in life, we can be distracted by the continually changing surface layer of experience, becoming caught up in the thrill of the ‘virtual’ world of dream lucidity. However, beyond the desires that captivate us, spiritual traditions across the world teach that within the dreaming state there resides a more serene experience of pure consciousness — one of profound joy. Unlike the turbulent emotions of the ego, this is our original soul nature.

About the Author:

Melinda Powell approaches lucid dreaming as a means to soul-awakening, a path she calls ‘Lucid Surrender’™. This book derives from Powell’s first-hand experience as a lucid dreamer, her professional work as a psychotherapist and her researches into lucid dreaming. Her application of Carl Jung’s alchemical model to Lucid Surrender brings new dimensions to our under- standing of alchemy, therapeutic practice and dream lucidity. She describes how stages similar to the alchemical process can also be consciously initiated in a lucid dream, with powerful therapeutic effect. Powell further develops Jung’s teachings on light, revisioning the reader’s understanding of darkness by illuminating the phenomenon of Black Light. She shows how lucid dreams can open us to the realm of the transpersonal.


In Melinda Powell’s new book on lucid dreaming, she continues to make creative contributions to understanding the mystery of dreams. Lucid dreaming has been a bit of an enigma that has in recent times been given more scientific attention. Melinda takes into account current scientific studies, including the growing literature and findings of the American Psychological Association. In addition to the scientific literature, she is well aware of the long-term recognition and value given to lucid dreaming in a number of depth psychological and spiritual traditions, including the practice of Tibetan dream yoga. Although resonant with Jungian, alchemical, transpersonal and other perspectives, she offers her own individual insights and discoveries into the world of lucid dreaming.

Lucid dreaming has been described as entering into the experience of a dream while feeling oneself to be conscious within it. Courageously, Melinda explores her own lucid dreams by releasing her ‘ego will’ — what she comes to call ‘Lucid Surrender’, a process through which she progressively enters into the Black Light and dark illumination of her dreams. The result of this release leads to an experience parallel with what the alchemists referred to as the lumen naturae, the light of nature or the light of darkness itself — a primordial phenomenon that links light and darkness into what Jung called a coniunctio oppositorum, or unity of opposites.

For Melinda, ‘Lucid Surrender’ and moving beyond binaries open a pathway into the depths of the soul, an alchemical-like and poetic descent, a spiritual journey through which she explores the mercurial wisdom of dreams and advances new ideas that have both personal and archetypal relevance. With remarkable hermetic discipline, Melinda captures and shares her dream experiences and personal life in a way that gives substance to her insights. A remarkable aspect of Melinda’s work is the positivity she discovers in her research: the fullness of the void, the awakening and freedom of the heart, and the healing, holiness and illumination she finds in her dreams.

In my own work on the alchemical black sun, I have noted similar experiences of positivity, but have also encountered the darkest aspects of suffering, despair, and hopelessness. What I find so valuable and resonant in Melinda’s work is her recognition that by entering deeply into this darkness rather than turning away from it, one can discover the light within the darkness itself. Melinda’s emphasis on ‘Lucid Surrender’ into this darkness is a wonderful contribution to understanding the mysterious depths of dreaming, lucidity, and life itself. Lucidity signifies being suffused with light — glowing, effulgent, bright, translucent and clear. Such statements are a fitting description for Melinda’s contribution and this new book is a gift to all those interested in the mysteries of dreaming, the depths of psychological and spiritual life, and the process of soul making.

— Stanton Marlan, Ph.D., ABPP Jungian analyst and author of The Black Sun: The Alchemy and Art of Darkness and C.G. Jung and the Alchemical Imagination: Passages into the Mysteries of Psyche and Soul.


Part I Awakening the Heart to Lucid Surrender

1 Lucid Surrender and the Holy Tree: An Illustration

2 Lucid Dreaming and Lucid Surrender

3 On Lucid Surrender: A Path to Lucidity

4 Healing Dreams in Lucidity

Part II Awake In Sleep!

5 The Alchemist’s Study: Lucid Dream Alchemy

6 The Fullness of the Void: Black Light in Lucid Surrender

7 The Spiritual Alchemy of Light within Darkness

8 Lucid Surrender and the Alchemical Coniunctio: A Post-Jungian Approach

Part III The Science of Mirrors in Lucidity

9 The Spiritual Science of Mirrors

10 The Mirror and the Snake: Personal Reflections on the Waking Dream

11 Through the Looking Glass in Lucidity

12 Wormholes in the Lucid Void

Part IV Light, Love and Laughter in Lucid Surrender

13 Moving from Conditioned Reality to Freedom of Heart

14 The Gentle Humour of Lucidity

15 The Sacred Sands of Lucid Surrender

16 Becoming an Astronomer of Dreams